Instructional Services Committee
ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education: Our Selections as of December 5, 2003

Standards, Performance Indicators, and Outcomes

Standard One

The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.

Performance Indicators:

  1. The information literate student defines and articulates the need for information.
    Outcomes Include:
    - Identifies key concepts and terms that describe the information need
  1. The information literate student identifies a variety of types and formats of potential sources for information.
    Outcomes Include:
    - Knows how information is formally and informally produced, organized, and disseminated
    - Recognizes that knowledge can be organized into disciplines that influence the way information is accessed
    - Identifies the value and differences of potential resources in a variety of formats (e.g., multimedia, database, website, data set, audio/visual, book)
    - Identifies the purpose and audience of potential resources (e.g., popular vs. scholarly, current vs. historical)
    - Differentiates between primary and secondary sources, recognizing how their use and importance vary with each discipline
    - Realizes that information may need to be constructed with raw data from primary sources
  1. The information literate student considers the costs and benefits of acquiring the needed information.
    Outcomes Include:
    - Determines the availability of needed information and makes decisions on broadening the information seeking process beyond local resources (e.g., interlibrary loan; using resources at ther locations; obtaining images, videos, text, or sound)
  1. The information literate student reevaluates the nature and extent of the information need.
    Outcomes Include:
    - Reviews the initial information need to clarify, revise, or refine the question
    - Describes criteria used to make information decisions and choices

Standard Two

The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.

Performance Indicators:

  1. The information literate student selects the most appropriate investigative methods or information retrieval systems for accessing the needed information.
    Outcomes Include:
    - Identifies appropriate investigative methods (e.g., laboratory experiment, simulation, fieldwork)
    - Investigates the scope, content, and organization of information retrieval systems
    - Selects efficient and effective approaches for accessing the information needed from the investigative method or information retrieval system
  1. The information literate student constructs and implements effectively-designed search strategies.
    Outcomes Include:
    - Develops a research plan appropriate to the investigative method (Don't we show them how to develop research plan appropriate to our resources??? -- RLT)
    - Identifies keywords, synonyms and related terms for the information needed
    - Selects controlled vocabulary specific to the discipline or information retrieval source
    - Constructs a search strategy using appropriate commands for the information retrieval system selected (e.g., Boolean operators, truncation, and proximity for search engines; internal organizers such as indexes for books)
    - Implements the search strategy in various information retrieval systems using different user interfaces and search engines, with different command languages, protocols, and search parameters
  1. The information literate student retrieves information online or in person using a variety of methods.
    Outcomes Include:
    - Uses various search systems to retrieve information in a variety of formats
    - Uses various classification schemes and other systems (e.g., call number systems or indexes) to locate information resources within the library or to identify specific sites for physical exploration
    - Uses specialized online or in person services available at the institution to retrieve information needed (e.g., interlibrary loan/document delivery, professional associations, institutional research offices, community resources, experts and practitioners)
  1. The information literate student refines the search strategy if necessary.
    Outcomes Include:
    - Assesses the quantity, quality, and relevance of the search results to determine whether alternative information retrieval systems or investigative methods should be utilized
    - Identifies gaps in the information retrieved and determines if the search strategy should be revised
    - Repeats the search using the revised strategy as necessary
  1. The information literate student extracts, records, and manages the information and its sources.
    Outcomes Include:
    - Differentiates between the types of sources cited and understands the elements and correct syntax of a citation for a wide range of resources
    - Records all pertinent citation information for future reference

Standard Three

The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.

Performance Indicators:

  1. The information literate student articulates and applies initial criteria for evaluating both the information and its sources. (My note: "For future growth". What did I mean by that???--RLT)
    Outcomes Include:
    - Examines and compares information from various sources in order to evaluate reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias (Criteria from Tate and Alexander.)
  1. The information literate student determines whether the initial query should be revised.
    Outcomes Include:
    - Determines if original information need has been satisfied or if additional information is needed
    - Reviews search strategy and incorporates additional concepts as necessary
    - Reviews information retrieval sources used and expands to include others as needed

Standard Four

The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.

Performance Indicators:

  1. The information literate student revises the development process for the product or performance.
    Outcomes Include:
    - Maintains a journal or log of activities related to the information seeking, evaluating, and communicating process
    - Reflects on past successes, failures, and alternative strategies (Maybe we should think more about how to build some of this into our instruction program. Probably not for the first pass, though. -- RLT)
  1. The information literate student communicates the product or performance effectively to others.
    Outcomes Include:
    - Communicates clearly and with a style that supports the purposes of the intended audience (Citation styles again??)

Standard Five

The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.

Performance Indicators:

  1. The information literate student understands many of the ethical, legal and socio-economic issues surrounding information and information technology.
    Outcomes Include:
    - Identifies and discusses issues related to free vs. fee-based access to information
    - Demonstrates an understanding of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use of copyrighted material (Plagiarism)
  1. The information literate student follows laws, regulations, institutional policies, and etiquette related to the access and use of information resources.
    Outcomes Include:
    - Uses approved passwords and other forms of ID for access to information resources
    - Complies with institutional policies on access to information resources
    - Preserves the integrity of information resources, equipment, systems and facilities
    - Demonstrates an understanding of what constitutes plagiarism and does not represent work attributable to others as his/her own
  1. 3. The information literate student acknowledges the use of information sources in communicating the product or performance.
    Outcomes Include:
    - Selects an appropriate documentation style and uses it consistently to cite sources (We facilitate use of citation styles)

Our competencies 2.rtf
RLT 12/6/2003

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